tv Meet the Presss Press Pass NBC April 29, 2012 11:30am-11:45am EDT
i'm david gregory and this is press pass, this week presidential debates don't officially start until october. we thought we would give you the next best thing, obama and romney saturday night live style as we go behind the scenes with the men who play them on "saturday night live" here in the sln studio in new york. thanks for having us here and bringing out the best furniture. >> absolutely, this is from home. >> look where we are, this to me is cool because i'm a washington guy, a place of great style and
substance, to be in a show biz mecca is aexciting. >> a warehouse of jokes and laughs, not bad, right? >> let's talk politics here. obama and romney. jason, let me start with you. this is -- >> hm. >> get to argue his point. >> that's not this show. >> i get the last word on it. >> is there any better fodder than politics? do you enjoy it? >> it is interesting. i would see kmun indicately, like everything is paying attention to the same thing so it feels like you're making inside jokes or things that are on the tip of their tongue or mind that we get to portray as the people. i would say that's where politics usually helps. having been here nine years and gone through this will be the third election season, it feels fairly repetitive as far as the
rhetoric and the circus behind it. has gotten more circus focused nowadays and starts earlier like christmas shows start earlier. >> what about personality romney isn't lighting up as an exciting figure. >> i think it makes it -- >> even better? >> i don't know if it does make it better. i would prefer he do something scandalous or something stupid as opposed to boring. to play boring is kind of boring. last week we dealt with him and hate the overuse of the word but flip-flopping and not knowing who he was. >> we have a clip of him acknowledging deficiencies he has as a candidate. >> you don't hear much about me in the news because the other
candidates are hog the headlines with scandals and oops see daisies, therefore i should become 15 to 17% more edgy, tonight mitt romney will let loose. get ready for mitt romney, raw and unleashed. because just like herman cain, i got a whole heap of skeletons in my closet as well. sometimes i think, is this a grave yard because there's so many skeletons inside. >> what does that capture for you? >> that's, you know, he's not a wild man. we wouldn't want our president to be a wild man but he's like a butter sandwich with unsalted butter and the crust cut off. >> fred, you had the advantage, you've been impersonating president obama for some time. how has this developed for you? >> it's nice because it's, you
know, i think that as the public discovers who he is and finds out more about him. i'm doing the same thing. and that's the kind of fun thing about it. as all of that unfolds. >> i want to show a clip of capturing the hype of president obama and some of the reality you had to deal with. >> time to look forward and acknowledge the sack faces we're all going to have to make. before we do that, remember the election night. grant park in chicago, nice weather, oprah. the white guy oprah was crying on. good times. but enough about the past. let's talk about the present. remember the convention in denver. rocky mountain air, yes, we can. yes, we can. even john kerry was fun. >> these are two sides to the
president always harkenning back to how much hype there was surrounding him when he got elected. >> also the public too, kind of like remembering back to that really fun time. but i've also like grown to like him more and more. i've just -- been a fan of his if you can say that about a president. so that's the other kind of good part of it, is you know, getting to like him more and more. >> let me ask you both, what's the key to the impersonation and key to getting him. >> just like little things. i will say also that it's the writing. it's like the outfit, the makeup and a lot of things that come together, even the set that make it work. >> you're good at like -- give me one little thing. >> sometimes when i'm getting ready i like to say hello. before i go on just a little -- just to hear if echo in the
room. >> i always find myself like little handles into the thing, not that i take too big of a vocal swing. unlike bill or when darrel was doing it. they are very -- very pitch perfect. >> it's like a science with them. >> darrel used to listen to tapes. >> you did that? >> i look at photographs and sometimes photographs say a lot. when you see him, he's just the way he is, very like his post tour and everything, you look into that and before i go out i'll give a quick little hello. and then -- >> you are professionals very clearly amateur, did spend a lot of time around -- you're sitting, just to reinforce -- >> yes. >> i covered president bush and being around him i get a sense of and i would be able to imitate him but it was the physical part of seeing his
gestures and how he would move his face and all of that. what's the key for you are romney? what are you trying to capture? >> with romney, vocally, he's got a real like radio voice, like i'm mean it's really down here and then i sort of put it up in my nose. the joke we made in a cold open and one i always go back to that helped me figure out what i was going to do with it is that he sounds like a black comedian doing a white guy voice. you going to the store? hey, how are you doing? nice to see you. like he's just got an air about him after you do something nice for him he's going to try to tip you. there's like a certain element of him that's like he's not -- that he's a little disconnected and kind of like talking to everybody, it's usually just getting a little deeper and more like just talks like that, i don't know. again, i'm not -- i don't think
it's fred's style necessarily either. he captures essence, quirks and things you don't notice. i'm just playing a version of this guy that's like me, like joe biden is like a version of my dad. feels like when he's talking he's going to slap you on the back too hard and you don't mind it because he's the vice president. he seems kind and nice and fun loving but boy, that hurt. how are you doing! louder than hell and enters a room and leaves and you talk about him ten minutes afterwards, he remembered my name and knew it when he left, you know. >> what about the snl effect on politics? because one of the incredible things about the program is that it is as strong if not stronger in the political arena in terms of getting it and capturing it. >> yeah. >> do you feel that? >> i do. i don't know if you would agree with this but it all depends on
where people's attention lies. like in 2004, i don't think we had as -- we had the opportunity to have as much fun with the politics because people weren't paying as much attention to george bush and john kerry as they clearly did with hillary and obama and mccain and sarah palin. i mean, that was like -- you knew someone new was going to be in office. >> is it going to stack up this year? >> who knows and we also can't think about it too much. >> we don't think about it. >> we definitely don't. we don't sit in a room -- we're only a reflection of what's being done out there. there's no agenda, believe it or not. >> can't help with our age and where we live on the writing and cast to skew a little bit liberal but it's not like, you know, these are all human beings and it is new york city. >> come on. >> we are going to take a quick break and be right back with
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mr. president, maybe we could start with you. >> yeah. first of all. >> he doesn't have to say much. >> that's it, let the record speak for itself. >> my years here, speak for itself. and joe will do good to tweet. >> it's that easy. seems logical. >> and then governor romney. >> you know this great nation of ours, you know, i got to tell you, i got across this country and see so many happy and unhappy men and women and grandmothers and granddaughters and you know, sons, nephews